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From the Height of Excitement to Depths of Doubt in Just Three Weeks

The Wall Street Journal has an article about the questions arising as genetic testing becomes more readily accessible. With some 1,400 tests on the market, the article says, it's important for consumers to know which are backed by firm science and which represent wishful thinking on the part of the test developer. Also, the story says, "many experts note that most genetic tests are only loosely regulated, and aren't required to provide the type of rigorous scientific studies to back up their claims that the pharmaceutical industry must provide."

Earlier this week, a columnist for LiveScience challenged the validity of genetic testing and sparked a debate on the topic. Meredith Small, an anthropologist at Cornell University, calls genetic tests -- especially those designed to determine a person's ancestry -- "fraudulent" and "a scientific scam." That got the folks at the Anthropology.net blog up in arms. A long post defending ancestry testing begins by saying that Small "has clearly shown, she doesn't fully understand DNA testing."

 

The Scan

Billions for Antivirals

The US is putting $3.2 billion toward a program to develop antivirals to treat COVID-19 in its early stages, the Wall Street Journal reports.

NFT of the Web

Tim Berners-Lee, who developed the World Wide Web, is auctioning its original source code as a non-fungible token, Reuters reports.

23andMe on the Nasdaq

23andMe's shares rose more than 20 percent following its merger with a special purpose acquisition company, as GenomeWeb has reported.

Science Papers Present GWAS of Brain Structure, System for Controlled Gene Transfer

In Science this week: genome-wide association study ties variants to white matter stricture in the brain, and more.